'How To Build a Time Machine' to Document Notorious Time Traveler John Titor

'How To Build a Time Machine' to Document Notorious Time Traveler John Titor

Feb 13, 2012

If you seek out stories about time travel, be they pure fiction or speculation about the real world possibilities, you surely know the name John Titor. If you don't, How to Build a Time Machine will soon be here to help. But first, a very brief history for the uninitiated.

In the year 2000 a man by the name of John Titor took to several Internet message boards claiming to be a time traveler from the year 2036. He told of a future America that had been torn apart by nuclear war and that he was part of a government project to send him 61 years in the past to recover an intact IBM 5100 computer needed to solve a crucial programming problem that would soon affect his present day. On his way back to 1975, though, Titor claimed to have stopped off on 2000 to recover items his family would lose in the future war. During this time-traveling layover, which lasted two-years, he also took to these boards to explain how his time machine worked, talk about UFOs (which he predicted were other time travelers), and offer his fellow board members a few insights into what the future had in store for them.

Titor gained a strong following on the Internet, both by those who believed him (despite a number of inaccurate predictions), and those who were fascinated by the intricacy of the narrative he was building. His story was an active influence on last year's fest hit Sound of My Voice, but no one has made a film telling his exact story. That's where the documentary How To Build a Time Machine comes into play. The documentary, directed by Jay Cheel (Beauty Day), has actually been selected to be the first film championed by Doc Ignite, which is sort of Hot Doc's equivalent of a Kickstarter campaign.

The documentary portion of the film, as you can see in the above video (via Twitch), is well under way, but Cheel still needs more funding to complete the film with accurate re-enactments of Titor's life. And that's where all of us come into play. If you, like us, have always wanted to see a film exploring the story of John Titor and the men and women he encountered, and you can afford to do so, do consider donating some funds to the How to Build a Time Machine campaign.

Update: Our resident documentary expert Christopher Campbell has alerted us to Obsessed & Scientific, Jay Cheel's student film about John Titor:

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